“Man looks in the abyss, there's nothing staring back at him. At that moment, a man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss.”
- Hal Holbrook
Bob Dylan once said, “The loser now will be later to win for the times they are a-changin”
I have always thought of myself as a loser and that is why I succeed. Whenever I begin with anything new, I slough off all of my delusions of grandeur and let the truth sink in that I am not so good at this activity, even appalling maybe, but I have got to win and to win, I shall have to put in a humongous effort.
I had taken CAT twice. First time I had managed to get a call from IIM Indore and the next time I had calls from only new IIMs and NITIE. I converted all the new IIMs and NITIE.
What a predicament it was; whether to go to IIM Trichy or to work for a year more and appear for CAT again? The intellectual in me had to choose the hardest path - go to Trichy, slog my butt off for a year studying both for CAT and MBA and then finally convert my dream college, IIM Lucknow.
I sat through the official induction at IIM Trichy with DI-LR handouts in hand, practising the difficult problems and trying to get a grip of them. And it need not be said, it was not an easy journey. I had my task cut out for me. And as luck would have it, lectures were being conducted at NIT Trichy campus, 20 kms away from the permanent IIM Trichy campus where we were being housed. Every morning, a bus would depart at 8.30 AM to take us to the NIT Trichy after a 1+ hour journey. While everybody relished their naps in the bus, I would again be busy studying for CAT. But studying for CAT was no reason to be derelict towards my MBA studies. I had set a goal: I would be an Institute Ranker at IIM Trichy. This again required endeavouring with diligence and focus because what if I failed at CAT, I needed to hedge my risks.
My daily routine had evolved into waking up in the morning, studying for CAT in the bus, attending lectures, studying for CAT in the breaks, studying for CAT after the lectures ended (because the buses would depart for the permanent campus some 3 hours after the lectures would end), studying for CAT in the bus, returning to the campus and napping, waking up and doing pre-reads for the next day’s lectures (because CP is important :P) and again studying for CAT before finally lapsing exhaustedly into a slumber at 4 in the night after a hard day’s work only to wake up at 8 the next morning.
And it did pay off in the end, I scored 99.31 percentile in CAT 2017, converted both FMS and IIM Lucknow and chose the better of the two colleges of course (say what you may an old IIM is an old IIM and no irrational justification of short-term ROI or any other fallacious logic should sway you otherwise :P) and became IR 4 at IIM Trichy too.
What was my motivation to work so hard you may ask? Well, indignancy surged through my veins and I never believed that IIM Trichy, even though it is one of the best institutes in the country, was the culmination of my calibre and potential.
Today, I sit in IIM Lucknow, a proud member of the Placement Committee here and a Google intern and was it all worth it? If I could go back in the past, would I change anything?
Nope, nope, nope, not a damn thing. Because I didn’t realize it when I was going through it but IIM Trichy moulded both my character and personality in more ways than I realize and played a pivotal role in making me who I am.
Makes me believe, there aren’t really any bad choices just some blissful and some not so blissful times. The blissful times are what make us glad to be alive and not so blissful times shape us to be worthy of the blissful ones!